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Home » Headline, Planets, Research & Science, UFOs

Scientists: We Might Be Overlooking Alien Communications

Submitted by on December 18, 2012 – 9:02 AM8 Comments | 3,103 views

The astrophysics world has been rocked. Subtly, but nevertheless, rocked!
A simple, yet overlooked, theory has been proposed by James Benford, his son, and Jame’s brother. The theory states that aliens, much like us humans, would attempt to contact via frugal means. Meaning that we might be over-complicating our search for intelligent life. Think about it. The more money we spend on fancy telescopes to scan the broad horizons, the less we spend on instruments that zero-in on those mysterious short blips of radio signals that we’ve missed.

James explained the hypothesis to the New Scientist

Short pulses rather than a continuous signal would also enable frugal aliens to use small and cheap transmitters. Small transmitters can beam out powerful radiation using high voltages – but only if they broadcast brief pulses that don’t give the electric fields time to discharge. They wouldn’t want to target individual stars: there are far too many of them. Instead, they’d build a powerful beacon, then swing that beacon around and repeat it. Astronomers have seen some unexplained signals that lasted for tens of seconds then were never seen again. Some of those could have been extraterrestrial beacons but there wasn’t enough observing time to wait for any repeats.

If the universe is infinite, then wouldn’t their theory make sense? Aliens would be as frugal as they could be when scanning the stars for signs of life. Explains why we haven’t heard from our neighbors since the Wow! Signal.

Full source: Digital Journal

A new theory has been put forward in the astrophysics world suggesting people have assumed too much when looking for alien attempts to communicate with Earth.
The theory, proposed by James Benford, his son, Dominic Benford, and Jame’s twin brother Gregory Benford, published in two papers in June, have generated a great deal of excitement in the science world.

The Benfords looked at the issue of communications and concluded that aliens, much like humans, would want to economize their resources where possible, and thus they would not send out communications resembling what scientists have expected would be sent. Instead, the scientists suggest, aliens might be as frugal with expensive resources as humans are. The University of California Irvinesaid extraterrestrials might have been trying to contact Earth all along, but because scientists were looking for something different, the messages were missed. The trio of scientists believe extraterrestrials might send out short messages, or pulses. James explained, saying“This approach is more like Twitter and less like War and Peace.”

James is a physicist as well as the founder and president of Microwave Sciences Inc. in Lafayette, California. Dominic is a scientist with NASA, and Gregory is an astrophysicist with the University of California Irvine. The new hypothesis is based on an old adage. Gregory explained“Our grandfather used to say, ‘Talk is cheap, but whiskey costs money.’ Whatever the life form, evolution selects for economy of resources. Broadcasting is expensive, and transmitting signals across light-years would require considerable resources.”SETI(Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) has been searching for extraterrestrials for the past fifty years, trolling for signals from space with arrays of satellite dishes.

The Benfords hypothesize”Assuming that an alien civilization would strive to optimize costs, limit waste and make its signaling technology more efficient, … these signals would not be continuously blasted out in all directions but rather would be pulsed, narrowly directed and broadband in the 1-to-10-gigahertz range.”James summarized their hypotheses and findings during an interview with New Scientist.”If ET was building cost-effective beacons, would our searches have detected them? The answer turns out to be no. Societies are always constrained by their resources. Why did cathedrals take centuries to build? Partly because they had only so many artisans, but also their capital was limited.”

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Based in Brooklyn, NY, I write about all things creepy and strange. My book based on the real haunting of Doris Bither (The Entity 1982 movie) will be released soon. Got a question? Drop me a line.

Latest posts by Xavier Ortega (see all)

  • BW

    Have to say the entire notion of other civilizations wanting to communicate with us assumes they think we would have anything useful to say. How often do people genuinely try to communicate with insects . . . ?


  • No it presumes they are likely not aware of other civilzations and are simply asking if anyone is out there.

  • BW

    Humans do that. No guarantees that anyone else even cares. Not that there is any harm in listening for signals — I just think the underlying assumption of SETI that communication with other civilizations is important is a projection of our own needs onto those who may be “out there”.


  • It is certainly possible that a civilization could achieve advanced technology and have some dogmatic reason for disdaining the search for other life. However I do not believe you achieve a state of technological advancement without some sense of curiosity. You just do not discover and investigate the atom, or observe gravity and decode its mathematics, or develop advanced metallurgy etc. without someone, somewhere saying “what would happen if?” And if one or two civilizations have dogmatic reasons for not looking outward, there is no reason to assume they all would do so. Even here on Earth there are subcultures that offer reasons to say there is no reason to look for other life, and from within those subcultures some of the greatest discoveries that have led us to our current state of knowledge have arisen. Your assertion still asks that we believe a single mindedness of any civilization that certainly does not exist here. Even among what we consider lower orders of intelligence you can see broad ranges of personality that exhibit atypical behavior for what is considered normal and I see no reason to believe any advanced life will be so of one mind that they would forgo sending a signal out to space just as a lighthouse beacon to others who might be like them, and curious. Especially when that signal (as described in the article) could conceivably be sent by an enthusiastic individual with sufficient wherewithal to do so.

  • veggiedude

    No civilization would expect a response. They would simply want to put out a ‘hello world’ message, or in this case, a ‘hello universe’ message. Call it altruism or call it ego, the motive for doing so could be as numerous as there are stars.

  • tony athas

    It makes me laugh when i think about the millions of dollars spent at SETI listening carefully for a ‘signal’ from across the galaxy while ufos are flying back and forth overhead. If the aliens understand humor they must be busting a gut looking at us.

  • So you are a believer. Your belief is not proof of what UFOs may or may not be, only an opinion. Feel free to offer your proof.
    Or lacking proof an explanation of why these aliens have travelled unknown distances to put on an airshow for our entertainment and have never yet communicated with us.

  • BW

    No dispute with this idea. Just pointing out that one of the underlying assumptions of SETI may be a desire (or need) more dear to humans than to others.